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Docent with Adult and Child in Front of Exhibit from the UI Natural History Museum

Remarkable museums

A rare 110-year-old whale skeleton and a world-renowned collection of African art. A giant Ice Age sloth and Jackson Pollack’s spectacular Mural. Each year, The University of Iowa’s museum collections educate and inspire thousands of visitors—from school groups to scholars.

The collections offer a glimpse of Iowa’s cultural and natural history. Visitors can stand in the first state senate chambers in the Old Capitol Museum; see football legend Nile Kinnick’s Heisman trophy at the UI Athletics Hall of Fame; explore the state’s geology, ecology, and native cultures in the UI Museum of Natural History; or learn about 20th century medical innovations at the Medical Museum in UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Today, collections are even more accessible. The UI Museum of Art and University Libraries recently released the Iowa Gallery, which includes digital images from the museum’s permanent collection, as well as 40 years of graduate student art, delivering the collections to anyone, anywhere in the world.

The museums also bring celebrated exhibitions to Iowa, including “VOOM Portraits Robert Wilson,” a multimedia exhibit by the avant-garde artist, which runs Feb. 2 through March 30 at the UI Museum of Art.

Other special exhibits showcase Iowa’s contributions to the world. “A Community of Writers: Creative Writing at The University of Iowa,” for example, traces the history of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop and the literature it’s inspired. Housed in new gallery space at the Old Capitol Museum, the show runs through Oct. 12.

The museums highlight a history of distinguished research at Iowa. Established in 1858, the Museum of Natural History, for example, features specimens from University-directed expeditions to many parts of the world.

These campus resources also provide a training ground for future historians, researchers, and museum curators. Undergraduates may supplement a degree in another area with the Certificate in Museum Studies, one of the oldest programs of its kind in the country.

Through extensive collections, special exhibits, and historical documents, the University’s museums make The University of Iowa a destination for scholars and casual visitors alike.

Museum of Art
Museum of Natural History
Old Capitol Museum
Medical Museum
UI Athletics Hall of Fame
Iowa Gallery
Project Art

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